WLR: Mystery Edition 

It’s that bleak humour that makes me love Christie, a blasé flaunting of the ridiculous that somehow seems plausible as we read it.

Featured Reader: A devilishly handsome man hiding behind a book. AKA Moz but I prefer the mystery man title.

Currently Reading: Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie.

Favourite Part/Line: While trying to recruit a spy, a character pitches the mission in the least appealing way possible, and yet it works: “I’m suggesting another method. Rather a sporting method really. There’s some excitement in it too. I’ll be fair with you. There’s just a hundred to one chance you mightn’t die. But I don’t believe under the circumstances, that you’d really object by that time.” It’s that bleak humour that makes me love Christie, a blasé flaunting of the ridiculous that somehow seems plausible as we read it.


As with last time, if you would like to take part in this ‘What’s London Reading’ feature here on TheCrackedSpineBlog and are free for a quick photo and chat please use the contact page of the blog, or you can message our Instagram or Facebook pages.

What’s London Reading 07/02/17?

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Featured Reader: Tash, a fellow blogger, from The Bottom Step  who very kindly agreed to be this week’s feature as she is aiming to complete 52 books in the 52 short weeks of 2017! We met in the in the beautiful Bloomsbury Coffee House where we grabbed a cup of surprisingly affordable and delicious coffee (well an Earl Grey Tea Latte for me).
Currently Reading: Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty.
Favourite Thing About the Book So Far: I really like reading it because it’s set in London so I can easily walk around the streets and follow where the main character is at the part I’m reading. Or I can just look up and see I’m on a street and be like ‘Oh this is where that thing happened!’ And I love the way the story builds, giving lots of tantalising clues to the main plot and as the story evolves you have to connect the dots.

Continue reading “What’s London Reading 07/02/17?”

Costa Book of the Year: A Magnificent Lineup

Last night saw the announcement of the Costa Book of the Year award, chosen from the five winners of the individual book prizes Costa sponsor under novel, first novel, children’s book, poetry and biography. The nominees were as varied as the categories themselves:

  • Novel: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Winner)
  • First novel: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
  • Children’s book: The Bombs that Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan
  • Poetry: Falling Awake by Alice Oswald
  • Biography: Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew.

I’m not sure I can really comment on how deserving Barry is this year as I’ve still not read 515djoalbxl-_sy344_bo1204203200_his offering (or any of the others for that matter). However, I will say that last night as I watched the awards I was intrigued by all of the books on the shortlist. Most of all Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew.
A biography of her father as he develops dementia, which as it descends past the surface details of the man himself, becomes a chase down the rabbit hole to find out a convoluted personal history. As a terminally nosey person, the idea of digging into the enigma of Carew’s father just captured my imagination. I have added this book to both my Amazon wishlist, Goodreads to-be-read, and the booklist of a reading group that’s formed in my university class (mostly because speech therapy trainees tend to be interested in dementia).

img_0547As for the winner, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, it’s no secret I’m a great lover of the man’s work and have raved about it to all and sundry. I’ve been excited to read this one since I saw it in the Faber and Faber catalogue last year and FINALLY purchased it just today from a lovely clerk in Waterstones Gower Street. I’m really looking forward to getting into it!

On the rest of the books, I can only paraphrase others whom I’ve seen on the Beeb during the awards show but must admit I am also intrigued by them. In particular, the poetry entry Falling Awake which was described as a book of nature poetry that isn’t quite the pastoral comments one might expect. Also going with another fellow countryman, Graham Norton (one of this year’s judges), Golden Hill is firmly next in line on my to be read pile… after everything else.

So, if you’re at a loss for what to read check out the shortlist, maybe you’ll find your next favourite book!

-Moz

 

Feature: What’s London Reading 27/01/17

A new featured post here on TheCrackedSpineBlog: What’s London Reading. An insight into what London’s bookworms are munching on!

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Featured Reader: Serena, a masters student at UCL ( and one of Moz’s friends kind enough to pose for this kind of awkward angle).
Currently Reading: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
Favourite Sentence/Passage: “Just because a man has made enough money to come to Gion and waste it however he chooses doesn’t mean he’s fun to be around. In fact, many of the men are accustomed to being treated with a great deal of respect. Sitting back with their hands on their knees and big frowns on their faces is about as much work as they plan to do in the way of being entertaining.”


I’m very excited to have finally gotten around to starting this feature on the blog as it’s been a long time in development and has taken me a while to actually ask anyone to be in a picture for it.

A huge thanks to the lovely Serena for volunteering and being a great model, even or this amateur photographer!

If you would like to take part in this ‘What’s London Reading’ feature and are free for a quick photo and chat please use the contact page of the blog, or you can message our Instagram or Facebook pages.

Review: A Man Called Ove

Please just let Ove succeed in the next chapter, I prayed every night as I cracked the spine of my Kindle.

a-man-called-ove-9781476738024_hrTitle: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Available: Now (Amazon, BookDepository)
Moz Rating: 3/5


Ove wants to kill himself. That’s pretty apparent from the first page, what was less apparent was how much I would also want Ove to kill himself by halfway through.

Continue reading “Review: A Man Called Ove”

Save the Date: February 18th

What’s better than getting drunk in the afternoon and regretting it the next day? Getting out and meeting strangers interested in London’s best bookshops and a bookish quiz, that’s what!

No, I’m not getting married, much to the disappointment of my mother. But this is better than a wedding: The London Bookshop Crawl  organised by Ninja Book Box. It’s like a pub crawl but better, even if the pub crawl might be wetter.

Moz, cut the prosaic nonsense, tell us what it is. Ok, ok, The London Bookshop Crawl is exactly what it says on the tin: an afternoon of crawling through some of London’s best independent (and some non-indie) bookshops with other book lovers and potential new friends. What better way to spend a February Saturday?

Currently, the spaces on the guided tours are all taken but there are still FREE tickets available if you want to trail through the shops at your own leisure. Tickets are available through Eventbrite (click here to register for yours).

Unfortunately I was also late to the party, so I’ve missed out on one of the guided tours too but am on the waiting list should a space become available! You can also sign up to take part in the “Bookish” quiz taking place after the crawl which promises to be a great chance to meet some new people and maybe get to know those you bumped into along the way of the book crawl.

I for one am excited. Maybe you are too, check out the event’s Facebook Page for more details and updates!

-Moz

Moz’s Top 5 Gifts for the Bookworm in Your Life

When you’re out of ideas and it comes down to books or candles, always go for books for Christmas!

With all the pinching, punching, first-of-the-monthing yesterday I didn’t get a chance to write this post, but at last here we are. It can be insanely hard to choose a book to give to the person you only just realised you need a gift for after all the booklover in your life. Who knows what they’ve read? Heaven knows you probably stopped listening to the storylines of what they read way back in January. Fear not panic-buyer, I’m here to help.

For the Feminist/Teenage Boy
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Asking for It by Louise O’Neill.

I’ve mentioned this one before on the blog when I read it back in September. Although it’s not exactly a Christmassy read it’s absolutely one of the funniest, most thought-provoking, and challenging (in terms of worldview as opposed to heavy literature) books I’ve picked up this year. Set in small town Ireland, the story delves into the Social Media-driven lives of Irish teenagers and, of course, all that the title implies. Feminist for obvious reasons but also a must read for a teenage boy coming of age in this curious time when no means yes and sex is the new handshake.

Amazon Link

For the One Who “Saw THAT Coming”
16299With this year being the centenary of the Queen of Murder, I want to say ANYTHING by Agatha Christie, but I’ll not leave the library of tomes to you with so little guidance. Without a doubt, And Then There Were None is one of my favourite murder mysteries. Equal parts chilling, darkly funny, and utterly gripping, Christie managed to create a plot no one could have predicted. Even if they have seen one of the multitude of adaptions of this (especially if it was the most recent BBC adaption starring Aiden Turner), it’s bound to please.

Amazon Link

For the Guy Who Only Reads Classics but Needs to Branch Out
51rimwr5pulI’ve raved about Barry to every Tom, Dick, and Ali since I first picked up A Long Long Way last year as part of my bookclub and every time I recommend it, or any of Barry’s other works, I am met at first with scepticism and then, once they’ve finished, that satisfactory feeling that comes when someone tells you they loved what you recommended. Of course, I can’t take credit for this recommendation as it (as usual) came from J, my significant otter, and you know, the Costa Book of the Year Award which Barry won in 2008 for The Secret Scripture. So, if you’re worried that your bookworm in need of branching out has already dipped into the titles mentioned, you could also opt for his new book, Days Without End, which was only just released in October by Faber and Faber. I’ve not read it but given that Barry’s prose reads like poetry, this is bound to be a treat.

Amazon Link

For the One Who Loves a Good Pleasure Read
we-are-all-completely-beside-ourselves-karen-jay-fowlerNot everyone wants to read a book that feels more like a job than the 8 hours they get paid for every day. We at TheCrackedSpine know this most of all, both of us having rather hectic schedules. I have a tip for this too, because sometimes light reads are trite reads, and no one needs that for Christmas, not after the year we collectively have had in 2016. In 2015, that halcyon bygone era, I happened upon a recommendation for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler and just picked it up as a distraction from the commute to and from work. A fascinating story of a somewhat dysfunctional family of two psychologists, I was hooked and the book only distracted me from the bus fumes for 3 days.

Amazon Link

For the Hopeless Romantic
635957916185414958-824906754_modern_romance-640x480Another commute read for me, perhaps more a cynic than romantic, Aziz Ansari’s (of Parks and Rec as well as Master of None) interesting investigation into the online dating world thoroughly entertained. I will put my hand up and say I listened to this one because Aziz himself is reading it. The comic timing of the book would surely not be lost in print but Ansari really made this book come to life in his voiceover. If you have a Tinder-holic or amatuer angler on Plenty of Fish in your house, pick this up as a stocking filler.

Amazon Link

So there you have it ladies and gents, Moz’s top 5 gift recommendations for the last minute stocking fillers. I hope your Christmas shopping is quick and easy, preferably online, and certainly not happening on the 26th.

TL;DR: It’s a list, the easiest of online media to digest, scroll up and look at the pictures.

-Moz